Worlds of David Darling
Encyclopedia of Science
   
Home > Encyclopedia of Science

formic acid (HCOOH)




formic acid
Also known as methanoic acid (its systematic name), a colorless, corrosive, pungent liquid, which is the simplest and strongest carboxylic acid. Formic acid occurs in the stings of ants and nettles. Formic acid is made (via sodium formate) by heating sodium hydroxide with carbon monoxide under pressure. It is used in tanning, as a latex coagulant, in electroplating, and to reduce dyes. The aldehyde derivative of formic acid is methanal.


relative molecular mass 46.0
density relative to water 1.22 (at -20°C)
melting point 8.3°C (46.9°F)
boiling point 100.8°C (213.4°F)


Related category

   • ORGANIC CHEMISTRY